Written evidence submitted by Miranda Yardley 
I am Miranda Yardley, I am an accountant and transsexual. I am responding to your request for written submissions to your ‘inquiry into reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2014 (GRA)’.
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (‘GRA’) came into being following the judgement in ECHR in Goodwin & I v United Kingdom, 2002 and concerned the right of males who transition to become women should have access to the same legal rights to marriage and social security benefits, for example pensions, as natal women.
When enacted, the GRA created a perverse situation where two people of the same Sex could only get married if one of them changed their legal sex. This changed eleven years later in 2014 with the equal marriage act. (Religious marriages of course have their own rules and the GRA/EA don’t affect these anyway). The retirement and state pension ages are in the process of being equalised.
The protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ exists independently of the GRA within the Equality Act 2010. Our rights and protections are equal to any other group: have equal marriage and we have equivalence in state benefits and the protection of the Equality Act. The GRA is, in reality, redundant and I argue this legislation should be abolished.
Replacing ‘gender reassignment’ with ‘gender identity’ does not help transsexuals, it protects thoughts and feelings, rather than the material reality of what is known as ‘gender reassignment’.
Changes to the GRA
Whereas I have argued for the abolition of the GRA, if such legislation has to exist I would comment as follows:
Please consider the removal of the requirement for a married couple to divorce before a GRC is issued. Compelling a loving couple to divorce is unjust.
Whereas I support same-sex marriage, nobody should be forced into being part of a same-sex marriage where they may have religious or other objections, in particular marriage is a contract which one party should not be able to vary unilaterally. Please retain what is known as ‘the spousal veto’.
Spaces designated by sex should be protected to afford the safety of the women for whom these spaces were designed. Legally enforceable rights should be available only for public spaces that are available for the use of the general population.
Women’s sports should remain open to only to women and ‘gender reassignment’ should not endow entitlement for males to compete against women, as women.
Spaces for women in crisis should not be affected and remain women-only to avoid risk, trans people in crisis have very different needs to women and this would serve us better. For example transwomen’s rights and women’s rights are a rights balance. Please consider publicly funding refuges for trans people who are in crisis. Please also consider ‘improper purpose’ clauses should there be Equality Act exemptions.
Cases such as Tara Hudson have brought to public debate how transgender males are to be housed within the prison estate. If male prisons are dangerous places for male trans people, it should be recognised that it is the male prisons that need to change. It is not, for example, acceptable to put women at risk by housing them with transgender males who have been convicted of violent and/or sexual crimes.
Treatment under the NHS
It should be recognised that meaningful therapy has value and that it is more cost effective and may result in a non-interventionist outcome. One gender reassignment operation could fund up to 200 one hour therapy sessions. Access to this therapy via the NHS is inadequate. Therapy should not focus on facilitating gender transition, rather it should attempt to enable the individual to come to terms with themselves and explore other possibilities than transition and even surgery.
NHS services for trans youth
It concerns me greatly that the observed phenomenon of ‘rapid onset gender dysphoria’ is being ignored largely as being ‘transgender’, whatever that may be, is being treated as if it were a single condition. This flies in the face of evidence that transgender behaviours delineate by sex and within each sex by sexual orientation. The emergence of rapid onset gender dysphoria has largely been silenced by activists who stand to benefit from the instrumentalisation of children to their political cause, children whose own reasons for apparent discomfort with their biological sex are a world away from those activists who are pushing this agenda.